It was 2007 all over again for the New England Patriots this week. Tom Brady and Randy Moss went off for huge days. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were back at it again this week in the game of the week.
I hope you weren’t counting on the Philadelphia Eagles to save your team this week, because the Oakland Raiders showed up for once this week. After six weeks, we can begin to see who’s shaping out to be this year’s busts. While there’s still a lot of games left to be played, I’m looking at Matt Forte and Steve Smith (CAR) as the early front runners for this award that nobody wants to win. Let’s see how this week’s studs and duds faired in Week Six.
Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Everybody will be talking about the performances of Brees and Brady this week, but let’s not forget about the great day that Matt Schaub had today. Schaub threw for 392 yards and four touchdowns. While he was picked off once, Schaub still completed 28 of his 40 passes and lit up the much-improved Cincinnati Bengals’ defense.
He didn’t find the end zone, but Andre Johnson was on once again this week. Johnson hauled in 135 yards and remains a fantasy stud. Owen Daniels was on the receiving end of two of Schaub’s touchdown passes and also had 78 yards receiving.
Steve Slaton wasn’t able to do much in the running game, but he was effective in the passing game. He went over the century mark and pulled away from the Bengals’ D for an impressive touchdown.
It’s hard to figure out Jacoby Jones . He doesn’t get very many looks from Schaub each week, but he always seems to find the end zone. Today, he caught two passes for 29 yards, but one of those catches was good for a score.
For Cincinnati, Chad Ochocinco had 100 receiving yards, as he and Carson Palmer continue to have a good fantasy season. Palmer had one touchdown on the day and 259 yards passing. He remains a nice matchup play. Cedric Benson was supposed to have a huge day against the dismal Houston Texans’ rushing defense, but he still hit paydirt to salvage his day.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
This game looked gloomy all around from both a fantasy perspective and in reality for the Detroit Lions with no Calvin Johnson and no Matthew Stafford. The Lions failed to score, but with Megatron out of the lineup, the only Lion you probably had in your lineup was Kevin Smith, who finished with 61 yards rushing.
It wasn’t the same story for the Green Bay Packers. What a day for Donald Driver who finished with 107 yards receiving. This guy was supposed to have seen his best days behind him, but he just won’t go away, and once again, he outperformed Greg Jennings.
Ryan Grant didn’t score in a game where he was projected to have a big day, but he still put up over 100 total yards. It was also a nice day for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers star QB threw two touchdowns to go with his 358 yards passing. Rodgers remains a fantasy stud, and if he can get Jennings going, his numbers should see a nice boost.
Baltimore Ravens @ Minnesota Vikings
This game featured two of the leagues top defenses, so you’d think it would be a defensive affair, right?
These two teams combined for a total of 64 points. Brett Favre put up another strong fantasy day, totaling 278 yards passing with three touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Visanthe Shiancoe. After starting the season so quietly, Shiancoe has turned things around and is becoming one of Favre’s go-to targets.
Bernard Berrian was also on the receiving end of a Favre TD. Neither Berrian or Shiancoe racked up the yards from Favre, however. It was Sidney Rice who caught six passes for 176 yards, including a 63-yard bomb.
The Baltimore Ravens put up a lot of points, as well. Ray Rice is quickly becoming the best running back in the Ravens’ backfield. The luster of Willis McGahee in the opening games of the season has apparently worn off. Rice, on the other hand, scored two touchdowns and just missed reaching 200 total yards. Rice and Joe Flacco torched the Minnesota Vikings’ defense late in the game.
Flacco threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns. Derrick Mason caught one of those TDs and had 97 yards receiving. Mason is Flacco’s main man right now and needs to be in your lineup.
New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints
Now we get to our game of the week. After being pretty quiet in the past couple games, Drew Brees and his passing attack were electric in this showdown against the New York Giants. Brees threw for four touchdowns and 369 yards. As expected, Brees spread the wealth around, as four different receivers caught a touchdown from Brees.
The best receiver for the New Orleans Saints today was, as expected, Marques Colston, who ended the day with eight receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. Welcome back Lance Moore. Last season’s fantasy breakout receiver had his best game of 2009, hauling in six receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown. We’ll have to wait and see if the 2008 Moore is back.
For the Giants, it was a quiet day for the new Steve Smith, but Mario Manningham was on the receiving end of Eli Manning’s lone touchdown of the afternoon. Rookie Hakeem Nicks had a touchdown courtesy of David Carr. Nicks was New York’s leading receiver with five catches for 114 yards. In the running game, it was Ahmad Bradshaw once again garnering the Giants' TD in the rushing game. Neither he or Brandon Jacobs had a huge day, but Jacobs had a touchdown catch negated because of a penalty. New York, playing from behind all day, was forced to pass early and often.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Hines Ward was close to catching a second touchdown today, but his second score was taken away when the refs reviewed the play. He still led the Pittsburgh Steelers with eight catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Santonio Holmes had a good day himself, totaling 104 yards on five catches. Heath Miller stayed red hot with his 80 yards receiving and a touchdown. This passing attack is still on fire and all three of these receivers should be in your lineup right now.
Rashard Mendenhall wasn’t as explosive as we’ve seen in the past, but he still found the endzone to give himself a nice fantasy day. The important thing to remember here is Mendenhall had 10 more carries than Willie Parker.
There isn’t much going on with the Cleveland Browns’ rushing attack, and nobody in that backfield should be in your lineup. There aren’t really any Cleveland players who should be in your lineup, but it’s still worth noting that Mohamed Massaquoi improved from last week’s dreary performance with 83 yards receiving. He is far and away the best option in this passing attack, but still a very risky fantasy play.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What’s the most glaring stat in this game? The once-mighty Steve Smith only mustered one catch for four yards. 2009 has not been kind to Smith, and if he couldn’t turn things around against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who knows when and if he’ll get it going this year. A new quarterback wouldn’t hurt.
On the flip side, DeAngelo Williams proved why he’s still a fantasy stud despite playing on a bad team. Williams had 30 carries, a rare feat in this day and age. He totaled 152 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jonathan Stewart also hit paydirt today, but it’s looking like Williams is emerging as the clear top back in this rushing attack.
A lot of people were picking Cadillac Williams as a sleeper this week, and he came through. Williams had 77 yards rushing with a score. Don’t let this performance fool you when you check out the wire this coming week because the Carolina Panthers don’t have a formidable defense. Williams is still on a bad team that will most likely be forced to pass early and often. Also, don’t forget that Derrick Ward is still in the mix for the time being.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins
The fantasy MVP in this game goes to the Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker, Ryan Succop, who kicked four field goals to record 12 of the Chiefs’ 14 points. Dwayne Bowe still went over the century mark, but couldn’t find the end zone. Bowe received 14 targets today, way more than anyone else on the Chiefs. With that many targets, Bowe remains a must-start every week, despite playing on such a poor offense.
Larry Johnson had a decent game, posting 83 yards rushing. He had 23 rushing attempts which is encouraging for anybody who still has him on their team.
Don’t be fooled by Clinton Portis’ 109 yards on the ground. Out of those 109 yards, 78 of them came on one run. He only had 15 carries.
St. Louis Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew was complaining this week about not getting the ball enough. Apparently, somebody heard his cries because he exploded this week for 133 yards rushing on 33 carries with three touchdowns. MJD has been quite inconsistent this season, as he has posted huge numbers in three games and terrible numbers in the other three games. Despite the inconsistencies, he always has to be in your lineup … except next week because it’s his bye week.
Mike Sims-Walker learned his lesson after last week’s suspension, and boy did the Jacksonville Jaguars need him. Sims-Walker hauled in 9 catches for 120 yards. Torry Holt had a nice afternoon against his old team, posting 101 yards on five catches. Let’s be real though, there’s nothing good about the St. Louis Rams right now. I would play just about anybody on your team against the Rams.
Donnie Avery was a huge sleeper candidate this week, and while he did score a touchdown, he got hurt shortly after that. The offensive options are dwindling for the Rams. If the ball isn’t going to Steven Jackson , who had 128 total yards on the day, there just isn’t anybody else to get the ball.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Everything was lined up perfectly for Matt Hasselbeck to repeat last week’s performance against the weak Arizona Cardinals’ pass defense. But that’s why they play the game, right? Hasselbeck didn’t throw for a single touchdown and only mustered 112 yards passing. Nothing was working for the Seattle Seahawks’ offense today. Their leading receiver was John Carlson with two catches for 55 yards. I wouldn’t panic over this off day for the Seahawks.
Larry Fitzgerald had another nice fantasy game, earning a respectable 100 yards receiving with a touchdown. Steve Breaston hauled in Kurt Warner’s other TD of the day.
In the running game, Tim Hightower hit paydirt, but it’s worth nothing that Hightower had 13 rushing attempts, while Beanie Wells had 12 attempts. The Cardinals keep saying they want to get Wells involved more, but neither he or Hightower could do much running the ball today.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Oakland Raiders
Here’s another game with an unexpected outcome. The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t score a touchdown, but much of their stars were still able to put up some good fantasy numbers. DeSean Jackson had 6 catches for 94 yards, including a 51-yarder. Brian Westbrook had 141 total yards, keeping LeSean McCoy behind him on the depth chart for another week. Jeremy Maclin , however, only had one catch for six yards. With rookie receivers like Maclin, you have to expect a lot of highs and lows week to week. Next week, he very well may have a day like he did last week. It’s a risk you’ll have to take if you want him on your team or in your lineup.
So who was the star of this game? The answer is Zach Miller , who posted 139 yards receiving with an impressive 86-yard touchdown pass. Miller and Darren McFadden , when he returns to the lineup, are still by far the only players on the Oakland Raiders that you should have on your team.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
It was like it was 2007 all over again. The New England Patriots had a record-setting day, and owners of Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker were laughing at the fantasy points that came pouring in. Brady had five touchdown passes in the second quarter alone. He finished with a total of six TDs and 380 yards passing. Moss had three touchdowns and Welker had two. All of this production came in basically one half of work. Imagine if the Tennessee Titans were able to put together some offense in this game and the Patriots’ first team stayed on the field for the full 60 minutes.
Given what we’ve seen from this team in the previous weeks, it’s clear that this week is a rarity, but maybe they can produce similar numbers in the coming weeks. Laurence Maroney may be a big name on the wire this week. With injuries decimating New England’s backfield, Maroney is currently the only real option and he put up 123 yards rushing with a touchdown today. Keep an eye on Sammy Morris’ injury during the week, but if he’s going to miss any time, Maroney could be a nice addition to your squad. The only positive for the Titans is Chris Johnson had 128 yards rushing.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Thomas Jones quieted the critics for one week. Jones scored and rushed for 210 yards, a very impressive day for the veteran. As much as he was productive today, I don’t think anybody would blame you if you wanted to sell high on him very soon.
In the past few weeks, Mark Sanchez has looked like a rookie. The success from the first couple weeks has seemingly caught up to Sanchez. Not having Jerricho Cotchery to throw to may have hurt, but the new No. 1 receiver on this team, Braylon Edwards , only had three catches for 40 yards. Edwards was targeted nine times, though.
Never mind Terrell Owens, the Buffalo Bills should just throw to Lee Evans. Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Evans for a touchdown, part of Evans’ 68 yards receiving on the day.
Owens looks to be another bust this year, which only helps the fantasy value for Evans. Trent Edwards left the game with concussion, but he really doesn’t have much fantasy value right now. Marshawn Lynch had 61 yards rushing, but he shared the carries with Fred Jackson (19-15). Missing the first three games has really hurt Lynch’s fantasy value since he’s going to share the workload with Jackson for probably the rest of the season now, barring any injury.
Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons
Jay Cutler couldn’t get his third touchdown of the night to tie Sunday night’s against the Atlanta Falcons , but he still threw for an even 300 yards with two touchdowns. His counterpart Matt Ryan threw for 185 yards with two touchdowns. Devin Hester led all receivers with six receptions for 83 yards. Cutler and Greg Olsen made a big step towards making this duo formidable. Olsen had 57 yards receiving with a score.
Unfortunately for Matt Forte owners, the Chicago Bears’ stud running back couldn’t get it going once again this night. Forte only had 23 yards rushing on 15 carries. It’s becoming more apparent that he’s suffering from the sophomore jinx. While Michael Turner only had 30 yards rushing himself, at least he found the end zone.
Tony Gonzalez once again produced nicely (52 yards, 1 touchdown), as he and Ryan continue to have a good season together. Roddy White didn’t rack up the fantasy points like he did last week, but you weren’t really expecting him to do that again this week, were you? White still produced a modest 56 yards receiving with a touchdown. The important thing here for White owners is he’s looking more like his old self from last season.
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THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY JIMBO JONES.